Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai Mulls Abandoning 'Fixed' Election
After being arrested multiple times, seeing supporters and diplomats alike abused and beaten by police and mobs, Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is considering pulling out of the run-off election.
Fears of rampan rigging, violence against voters and other controversies have caused other nations to speak out, saying they don't believe the vote will be free and fair.
The MDC says at least 70 supporters have been killed since the March 29 election, which many people said was won by Tsvangirai.
Meanwhile, a magistrate has stated that a senior opposition member must face trial for treason after a 'transitional' document was found before the march 29 election. The accused, Tendai Biti, is the secretary-general of the opposition party and says the document is doctored.
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is considering whether to pull out of the June 27 presidential run-off election due to fears it will be a charade, a spokesman said on Friday.
A growing number of African nations, the United States and former colonial power Britain have said they do not believe the poll would be free and fair because of violence that the opposition blames on veteran President Robert Mugabe.
Ambassador James McGee, who has held his position in Harare for nine months, said that, even after witnessing atrocities in Vietnam and a coup in the Ivory Coast, he's never seen anything like this.
"I have witnessed with my own eyes the victims of violence, and any attempt by the government to claim that it's the result of opposition activity is simply a lie," McGee told CBS News on Thursday during a visit to neighboring South Africa.
Mugabe has called for a presidential runoff against opponent Morgan Tsvangirai, whose Movement for Democratic Change party claims he won a March 29 election against the long-time ruler. Many aid agencies agree. Others suggested the result was too close to call.
Amid conflicting reports over the likely course of Zimbabwe’s violence-ridden presidential run-off, the European Union said on Friday that it would consider expanding its sanctions against the regime of President Robert Mugabe.
In making the announcement after a summit meeting here, the 27-nation bloc did not say specifically what actions it might take to add to its current, often ineffective body of measures, which include a porous ban on Mr. Mugabe’s traveling to Europe.
Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said the state had enough evidence to disclose an offense against Biti, a high-ranking member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
"After a careful perusal of the submissions by both the state and defense, there is a reasonable suspicion that the accused [Biti] committed the offense," Guvamombe said to a full courtroom.